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Old 07-31-2007, 08:01 PM   #1
AvidReader
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Quick question for everyone who owns a SPR...

Hi all.
Firstly, thank you for your wonderful forums.
Even though I'm about to ask a REALLY basic question, please don't think I haven't been trawling through all of your informative threads over the last few weeks, because I promise I have.
If anything, though, I'm more confused than ever.
Hence my post.
If you guys would kindly answer my one question, I'll buy my Sony E-Reader and then hopefully become a regular working part of this forum as I tweak and play with my new toy.
Anyway, here goes...
All I want out of my ebook is to be able to download 'text-only' pdf files and read them.
That's all.
Ebook reading ONLY.
No manuals, or pics, or graphs.
Now, most native PDF books seem to be A4 size, and I've gathered that A4 size pages will display 'too-small' text on the reader so can I (how do I) convert the pdf files easily (one click?).
Basically, if I get a unanimous "yes it can be done. Easy as pie." then I'll buy my reader right now and work out the details later.
But some of you have stated that if you only want to read pdf's on this thing then DON'T buy it, which is naturally causing me to pause..
So, what do you all think?
Thanks in advance

Peter
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:23 PM   #2
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http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12525

I would suggest you try it on a few pdf books you expect to read and see if you're happy with the results.
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:24 PM   #3
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Yes, there is a program called pdf2lrf that was just released by a member here. You can use it to convert PDFs to the Sony Reader LRF format. It's part of libprs500
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:51 PM   #4
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Hi Peter.

The short answer is DO IT! The long answer follows:

I am using Acrobat 7 on my PC to read PDFs. Under the "File" menu there is an option to "Save as Text". Having done so, I now have a *.txt file I can load into my Sony Reader. The Reader will give you a choice of three font sizes to display. The txt file is my favorite file format because the font sizes come out very readable.

Sometimes saving from a PDF file can give you fixed line lengths. If this happens you can a/ ignore it. b/ reformat the paragraphs using a programmer's editor. I pulled the following from an earlier post to show how this is done. There is a link to a utility as well, so it is not all that difficult. BTW, when I wrote this I was reformatting text to fit an MP4 player
Quote:
I converted the Palm TX manual from pdf to txt to use here as an example. It is freely downloadable. I saved it as text using Acrobat. I brought it up in PSPad, an excellent freeware programmer's editor. Then I was able to view the txt file in hex mode. The first little bit looks like this:

"User Guide 0D0A 0D0A 0D0A 0C 0D0A Copyright and"

The ASCII codes are:
0D0A = carriage return, line feed (CRLF).
0C = form feed (FF), or page break.

The CRLF is what you are calling a paragraph mark. It commonly shows in most editors as a paragraph symbol. This symbol is not a part of the ASCII character set. The form feed is a page break. Often the FF is close to a number or a repeated string. This is a good clue for the identification of text you might wish to remove.

My problem was to reformat the text to fit a 24 character line and reflow the text at word breaks. To do this I followed the following steps:
1/ Replace all CRLF sequences with <*>CRLF.
2/ Select all the text in my editor (PFE in this case) and reflow it.
3/ Replace all <*>CRLF sequences with CRLF.

Some good free programmer's editors are : PSPad, ConTEXT and PFE32.

Now the text has the proper paragraph formatting and text breaks occur between words. In other words, it is readable. Now if I wish, I can replace CRLFCRLF sequences with CRLF to eliminate extra line spacing. The form feed "0C" character can be replaced by a space or a CRLF sequence -- your choice. I usually replace tabs with 2 spaces and later crunch spaces down by repeatedly replacing SPSP with SP.

There is a small free conversion utility called Storymaster ASCII text reformatting tool that will do the above operations quite satisfactorily. The site will link you to a free download.
Reading txt files on the Reader is quite satisfying. If you wish, you can go through yet another conversion to RTF or LRF and play with font choices. I hope you enjoy your reader.

Last edited by mogui; 07-31-2007 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:09 PM   #5
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Thank you very much, guys.
Three positives mean only one thing...
It's BUYING TIME!!
Hope you all have a great morning/day/evening (depending on where you are)

Peter
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:16 PM   #6
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Deleted - I duplicated Mogui's post (who types WAY faster than me )

Last edited by BobVA; 07-31-2007 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:21 PM   #7
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Mogui, just out of curiosity, why don't you use the PDF2LRF program that Nate the Great mentioned?
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AvidReader View Post
Mogui, just out of curiosity, why don't you use the PDF2LRF program that Nate the Great mentioned?
I guess I'm just an old-fashioned guy. It is trivially easy to dump the text from a PDF. I prefer TXT over LRF because the default font sizes are just what I want. I just need the ebook to be readable, not pretty. I can use a programmer's editor to reformat the paragraphs in TXT files without thinking too much or learning a new tool.

When I wrote the above material I had a broken Palm and I was reading TXT files on an MP4 player. The player had only a 24 character line and did not hyphenate. So I was in the midst of creating re-flowed text anyway and all the thinking was fresh in my mind.

I would use LRFs if I ever could decide what font size to use and if I could do batch conversions from PDB and LIT files. Being a lazy person I usually do not look for new methods when I can make the old ones work.

Maybe I could make my life easier. Suggestions are welcome.
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:48 PM   #9
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Another option (for mogui in particular) is to use Stingo's Word macro (available in the conversions section of you local MobileRead Wiki.) Even if you don't have Word installed the VB code can be easily adapted to the free OpenOffice word processor. It fixes those pesky hard returns at the end of each line.

Also, I've imported text based PDF files directly into BookDesigner and and then clicked on Make Sony eBook with very good results. I wouldn't distribute the files but they are a lot like the PDFs that AvidReader described.
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
Yes, there is a program called pdf2lrf that was just released by a member here. You can use it to convert PDFs to the Sony Reader LRF format. It's part of libprs500
I much prefer pdf2html that is also part of libprs500. It gives me a file I can then edit however I want to make it look good as an LRF and make a proper ToC. So yes, text only PDF can be converted to html and then from there edited and converted to LRF using html2lrf or Book Designer.
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:39 AM   #11
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Mogui, I hear you loud and clear, regarding the laziness factor.
Hence my desire to find something that's 'one-click' only.

RWood, your 'bookdesigner' suggestion sounds good also.
I may give that a go.
Sounds easier to use than PDF2LRF etc.

Heck, at the end of the day, I just wanna read books on the thing, so maybe plain text will be okay?

I don't care if it's "pretty-fied", but I DO know that my eyes find it easier and more enjoyable reading nice ariel-smooth fonts rather than the somewhat harsh edges and thin type of the *.txt font, if you know what I mean?

I guess I'll have to try them all out on the Sony and see how they look.
I don't suppose somebody could post a screenshot of how a standard text file looks on the reader?

That would be very helpful...

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